Category Archives: January 2019

Editor’s Letter

Screen Shot 2018-12-28 at 8.33.57 AM“Always remember, a cat looks down on man, a dog looks up to man, but a pig will look man right in the eye and see his equal.”

― Winston S. Churchill

I am really enamored with the idea of raising a pig. I would feed it green apples and then I would make bacon. There was a couple from Texas in my cooking class a few years ago and they told me that it was a rite of passage for their daughters to raise and slaughter a pig. While I love the idea of this I know that when the time came, I would falter and end up with a pet pig rather than pork belly. Continue reading Editor’s Letter

Oaxaca’s El Bichón Fuses Tradition with Barbeque Ribs

Screen Shot 2018-12-28 at 8.34.32 AMBy Alvin Starkman, M.A., J.D.

When one thinks of Mexican food, the last thing that comes to mind is barbequed ribs, especially in Oaxaca, the city with a reputation for culinary seduction above all the rest in Mexico. But for decades, Comedor Familiar El Bichón Restaurante has been serving good old-fashioned American style pork back ribs right off the grill, along with traditional Oaxacan foods such as tasajo and cecina (grilled beef and pork respectively), memelitas, mole and more.  Despite its location in a non-touristy residential / commercial sector of Oaxaca just outside Oaxaca’s quaint downtown core, on a recent Sunday visit El Bichón was jampacked during Oaxacan comida hours (2 – 5 p.m., more or less) – not with tourists to this Mexican Mecca for mouth-watering cuisine, but rather locals out with the family for Sunday brunch Oaxaca style.  Continue reading Oaxaca’s El Bichón Fuses Tradition with Barbeque Ribs

Jazz in Huatulco

By Luis Gasca

For its second season, Louie’s Jazz Club will be presenting World-class jazz artists. The first series starts on Wednesday, January 9, and continues nightly through Saturday, January 12. Our 2019 lineup features trumpet master Luis Gasca, plus Jorge Estrada, one of Mexico’s top piano artists, and from Cozumel, Silver Smith on alto sax and congas (tantric sax).

The second series is Friday and Saturday, January 25 – 26. This lineup, direct from Cuba, brings Gabriel Hernández (Buena Vista Social Club, Roy Hargrove, Cubanismo, Arturo Sandoval). Gabriel’s trio includes the Flores Brothers, Adrian on upright bass and Diego on drums. Our featured singer is Andy Gamon from San Antonio, Texas (Richie Cole, West Side Horns).

Mexican Piggy Cookies

Screen Shot 2018-12-28 at 8.34.55 AMBy Deborah Van Hoewyk

A “gentler, kinder” legacy of the conquistadores and their cochinos (see article elsewhere in this issue) is the fond memories any number of Mexican food bloggers have of Mexican “Piggy Cookies.”  Usually called marranitos, full name marranitos de piloncillo, they’re also known as cochinitos, puerquitos, lechoncitos, chanchitos, or cerditos.   They seem to show up in central and northern Mexico, as well as in Mexican bakeries in Texas, and were first mentioned in print in an 1875 English-language book about Mexico.   Continue reading Mexican Piggy Cookies

The Conquest of Mexico . . . by Pigs???

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By Deborah Van Hoewyk

You can’t say no to the Queen, right?  When the Spanish monarchs Isabella I of Castile and her hubby Ferdinand II of Aragon decided to bankroll Christopher Columbus in 1492, 1493, 1498, and 1502, it was Isabella who strongly suggested that Columbus take eight Iberian pigs (Sus mediterraneus) on the 1493 voyage, along with 1,500 men and women to settle the island of Hispaniola (now Haiti and the Dominican Republic).  Other pigs that arrived on Spanish ships were Celtic (Sus celticus) and Asian (Sus vittatus).  Over time, they produced a genotype called the Mexican hairless pig, or sometimes the Creole hairless pig, which is believed to look pretty much like the pigs that arrived with Columbus.   Continue reading The Conquest of Mexico . . . by Pigs???

Wild Peccaries of Mexico, Central, and South America

Screen Shot 2018-12-28 at 8.35.28 AMBy Julie Etra

The peccary, also known as javelina, jabelina, and jabalí in Spanish, is a medium-sized hoofed mammal resembling a pig, but in fact is no longer related (they separated maybe 40 million years ago) to domesticated or European pigs gone wild, like the razorbacks hunted across the southern United States. Members of Tayassuidae family, peccaries range from the southwestern United States down through Mexico to Central and northern South America.  They are usually about 2 – 4 feet (90 – 130 cm) long, and, when full-grown, can weigh from 45 – 90 (20 – 40 kg) pounds. Their hooves, depending on species, can have more than two toes, although the middle two digits are always used for walking.  They have coarse hair or bristles and tusk-like canine teeth that they can rub together to make a chattering sound that warns off predators – jungle cats, boa constrictors, and humans among them.  Continue reading Wild Peccaries of Mexico, Central, and South America

Oops, Did Your Sofa Cover Get a Bit Tatty Over the Summer?

Welcome Back!  

By Sheryl Novak

Be they snowbirds or year-rounder ex-pats, Northerners who make their homes in Huatulco can be taken aback at how hard the climate, especially the sun and salt air, is on their furniture.  Upholstered furniture and cushion covers can deteriorate at an alarming rate. Continue reading Oops, Did Your Sofa Cover Get a Bit Tatty Over the Summer?

This Little Piggy Went To Market: The Story of Cochinita Pibil

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By Carole Reedy

The flavor of any country or region undeniably revolves around its unique characteristics, one of the most essential being its cuisine.  Not only is Mexico’s cuisine distinct from those of its neighbors, but the essence of the cuisine varies from state to state within the country. Continue reading This Little Piggy Went To Market: The Story of Cochinita Pibil